There are three main types of survey that are often commissioned when buying property, as well as the mortgage valuation (if neccessary)
A Homebuyers Report tends to be the mist popular but there are no specific rules as to which you hsould have, so below we've included a brief guide to help make your decision.
This is the most basic form of survey. Probably best used if the property you are buying is relatively new and you are simply seeking reassurance. It will give you a general overview of the property’s condition and will highlight any significant issues, but without going into any great detail. This survey does not give a market valuation figure. The approximate cost of this type of survey is usually in the region of £250 plus VAT.
This is the most popular survey and the most likely choice if you are going for a property that is in a reasonable condition. It takes approximately 2 – 4 hours to complete. It is more detailed in content and will highlight any problems such as damp and subsidence. It will offer advice on repairs needed and also ongoing maintenance. It may also give you projected costs for any work needed. It will provide a useful traffic light system, so green for all is ok, orange for will need some attention in the future and red for needs immediate attention. If there is anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations then this will be highlighted. It is important to note that this is a non-intrusive survey and the surveyor will not move furniture or look under floorboards or provide photographs. This survey will include a market valuation and rebuild cost. The approximate cost of this type of survey would be in the region of £400 plus VAT rising to over £900 plus VAT depending on value / size of the property.
This is the most thorough survey you can get (and therefore the most expensive). It will include photographs to demonstrate clearly the condition of the property and any areas that need attention. It is worth considering if you are buying a property that will need significant renovation, or if you have major concerns about the property. This survey provides a comprehensive analysis of the structure and condition of the property. It will list all defects and give advice on repairs and maintenance. For this type of survey, the surveyor will look under floorboards and in the attic. The survey may also include projected costs for any work required. For this type of survey you can expect to pay from £750 plus VAT to over £2,000 plus VAT again depending on the properties value and size.
MORTGAGE VALUATION REPORT
If you are having a mortgage, the lender will arrange a mortgage valuation survey. The aim of this survey is to check that the property is of sufficient value to allow them to lend you the amount you are applying for. It is important to note that this is not an actual house survey. However, this has to be carried out on behalf of the lender (you may be required to pay for it) before they will issue a mortgage offer. Although its referred to as a valuation survey it won’t tell you anything about the condition of the property. Essentially the lender needs to satisfy themselves that if you were to default on your mortgage and the property became repossessed by them, they would not lose any money when reselling the property.